OSF Holy Family Medical Center


After your surgery you will be moved to the recovery room. You will be closely monitored as the anesthesia wears off. When you are ready, you will return to the Outpatient Surgery Unit to be prepared for your discharged home.

OSF Holy Family Surgery Recovery

How will I feel?

  • Medications may be offered to reduce nausea if you experience nausea or vomiting during surgery.
  • You might have a mild sore throat after surgery. This may be caused by the airway or tube placed in your mouth during anesthesia.
  • If you had an intravenous needle in your arm or hand, it may result in some discomfort. Any soreness or black and blue marks from needles should disappear in a few days.
  • Because of the anesthesia, you wont remember much about your procedure.

Caring for Your Incision:

After your surgery, you may have an incision that is covered by a bandage or dressing.  A nurse will demonstrate how to care for your incision and/or dressing.  Make sure and change the dressing as instructed by the nurse.

Check your incision for signs of infection, which include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling or hardness
  • Warmth
  • Odor
  • Pus
  • Keep your dressing dry

Call your doctor is you have any of these signs of infection.

Pain Management

Our goal is to make this experience as comfortable as possible, but we need your help. If you have pain after surgery, tell your nurse right away. Do not wait until the pain becomes severe. Medications for pain can be either “over the counter” or prescription drugs. If you are an inpatient, your pain medications may be pills or may be given through an IV. Our goal is to help you control pain and function at the highest level possible. Surgery is not pain free, but it is important you feel as comfortable and in control as possible.

Tips for Taking Pain Medications:

  • Always take your medications as directed. Be sure to take the correct dose at the right time. This can help the pain before it starts.
  • Do not stop taking the medication without asking your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if you start to have side effects from the medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol- it may be dangerous if mixed with many medications.

Help the Doctors and Nurses "Measure" Your Pain

They may ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10. A score of “0” would mean no pain. A score of “10” would mean the worst pain ever. Reporting your pain as a number helps doctors and nurses know how well your treatment is working. They can then decide whether to make any changes in how your pain is being controlled. If your pain can not be completely eliminated, you will be asked to tell us your target pain level, you would be comfortable with.

Pain That Does Not Go Away

Tell the doctors or nurses about any pain that won’t go away. We want you to achieve a comfort level that is right for you. The amount or type of pain you feel may not be the same as others feel, even those who have the same problem. You are the key to getting the best pain relief, because the pain is personal. Your doctors and nurses need to be told if your pain is not being controlled. 

Managing Nausea

Some people have an upset stomach after surgery.  This can be due to the anesthesia, pain medication, or the stress of surgery.  The following tips may help manage nausea after surgery:

  • Do not push yourself to eat.  Your body will tell you when and how much.
  • Start off with clear liquids and soup, as they are easier to digest.
  • Next try semi-solid foods.  This could include, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, and gelatin.
  • Slowly move to solid foods, trying to avoid fatty, rich or spicy foods at first.
  • Try eating smaller amounts of food often instead of three large meals a day.
  • Take pain medication with a small amount of solid food, such as crackers or toast, to avoid nausea.